Well, friends, we are getting to that time of the year when it is time to start thinking about where we want our business to go in the upcoming year. 2012 is just around the corner. Do you have a plan yet?
The truth is that you can make a difference by setting goals or resolutions (or whatever you want to call them). But you can’t just set and forget. You need to have a plan. If you want to take your internet marketing efforts to the next level start thinking about how you are going to do that now.
These 5 marketing techniques can bring about change and more profit. Which one(s) will you implement this coming year?
1. Modernize your approach
It’s almost 2012 for Pete’s sake! Are you still using outdated techniques or are you trying new things as they come out? If you want to take your earnings from internet marketing to the next level you need to start implementing some of the new marketing techniques that are available to you.
Don’t try to do everything at once. Choose something new to learn about and execute every month or two. Read everything you can about it and think about how it applies to your own business. Consider twisting it around and making it your own to get even more value from it.
Some of the things you could put into action in your marketing strategy to make it more up-to-date include:
- Giving your site or blog a more modern look; when was the last time you updated your blog theme?
- Getting more involved in social networking; make a bigger effort to interact and provide value.
- Including social media graphics on your site or blog; if people don’t know where to find you they won’t go looking for you!
- Learning about and applying more current SEO techniques
- Taking advantage of video marketing
- Learning how to implement and utilize your subscribers list; remember to provide your subscribers with value!
2. Get your priorities straight!
All too often we know what we have to do but we don’t prioritize and the end result is that sometimes the most important things don’t get done or are forgotten about. Learning how to prioritize is crucial if you want to move into the next year with a plan to make more money.
There are many things that can help you increase your business but what are the most important ones? Which ones will have the biggest effect with the least amount of time and/or money investment? You can make videos that might bring you more traffic or get new customers but if it takes you a week to get that video perfect it might not be the best place to spend your time. You might be able to increase awareness about your business by hanging out in a niche related forum but how much time will you have to spend there to get one new customer?
These are just a few examples but you should always be prioritizing. Consider how much time it will take (or how much money) to get one new customer using a particular marketing technique. Now ask yourself if your time could be better spent on something else. If the answer is yes, then that something else should be a bigger priority than the first technique.
3. Take it offline
If you never take your marketing efforts offline you could be missing out on some great chances to spread the word about your business. If you are anything like me, you likely jump on the chance to talk about what you do.
As a freelance writer with a passion for social media, people are always asking me what I write or they ask for advice about how to use Facebook or Twitter. I love talking about it and I love to give advice. But I can’t do it for free all the time.
This is how I handle it: I keep any conversation about my work to about 5 minutes. Then I excuse myself from the conversation politely, give them my business card, and say “I’d be happy to give you a free half hour consultation next week. Give me a call.” They usually give me their own card at that point and if I don’t hear from them after a week or so I call them.
That’s what works for me and my business but as an internet marketer there are many offline marketing techniques you could try:
- Car magnets
- Key chains
If you have a site that sells health care products create a portable calorie counter and brand it to give away at a drug store. If you have a site about pets you could let the local pet food store give away a brochure about 10 Things You Need to Know about Your Pet’s Health (or something else relevant). Think creatively. Think about where your target market gets their information. Then be where they are!
The trick to finding the right offline marketing technique is the same as any other marketing method you might use – knowing your target market. Where do they shop? What are their hobbies? What do they read? What works for me might not work for you because we likely have different markets that we are focusing on.
4. If you are not outsourcing yet, start now
What has that got to do with marketing? Well, think about the one thing (or two or three even) that you hate doing. How often does it get done? How does it affect your business? I’m betting that the one thing you hate to do gets postponed long past when it should be done and then it puts you in a panic causing you to spend hours or even days getting caught up!
What would happen if you didn’t have to worry about it anymore? Well, you’d have more time to devote to the things that you are really good at and the things you like to do. Imagine what would happen then. Your marketing efforts would be more effective. You would make more money!
I love to write and I could (and often do) write all day long but I hate making graphics and making a decent one can take me hours. But I can outsource it for $5 on Fiverr.com and get a graphic that looks twice as good as the one I tried to make. So, why would I waste hours on making something that was going to look like it was made by an amateur when I could pay someone else to make it, have a graphic that looks better, and have more time to spend writing?
5. Develop a new skill
I’m not just talking about reading a couple of blog posts on article marketing or time management or whatever your new skill is. I’m talking about devoting time to thoroughly mastering a new skill. Take a course at a local college or invest some money in learning from a professional. Make a real effort to learn something new.
Then put that new skill into action. You will spend less time trying to find someone to do it the way you want it done.
Some of the skills you might consider learning are:
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Blog design
- CSS, PHP, HTML, Flash, Java
- EBook writing
- Video editing
Try to pick a new skill that you are interested in rather than a skill you just think will make more money for you. That way, you’ll be more likely to actually use it in the future.
While you’re learning this new skill, why not turn it into a case study? Your readers or your email subscribers can learn along with you. They can see what you are doing, how you are implementing the new skill and what kind of results it is having. When you share information like this you become more trustworthy and transparent and in the long run, you develop a better relationship with those that follow you. And of course, you provide more value and THAT is what will bring you results!
Change Leads to More Change
Remember this: if you want to change the amount of money your business makes you need to change the way you market. Rarely will you find a business that suddenly starts making more money for no reason at all. There is usually some kind of change behind it – a change in the economy, a change in management, or a change in marketing. You can’t change things like the economy but you can change the way you market your business.
If you want to make more money in 2012, pick one or two of these marketing techniques to focus on and start planning now. How you will implement it in 2012? With a good action plan, you can move into 2012 with confidence and be ready for some awesome changes in the amount of money your internet marketing efforts brings in!
I’d love to know what marketing techniques you plan to use to make more money from internet marketing in 2012. Do you have something spectacular planned? Share your ideas in the comments. And if you liked this post the Tweet, Like, +1, and LinkedIn Share buttons are right below!
[box type="note"]This post is part of our Blog Contest! If you like it, support the author by sharing it and adding comments. Also make sure to check other entries by visiting the blog contest page.[/box]